NUSEA is the umbrella organization for 20 urban squash and education programs in the U.S and around the world that enroll year-round more than 2,000 elementary, middle, high school and college students. These nonprofit organizations provide intensive after-school, weekend and summer programming that includes academics, squash, mentoring, community service, college placement and more. In order to become, and remain, a member of NUSEA, programs are required to meet a range of criteria which demonstrate that they are organizationally sound and that they provide their students with intensive, year-round support.
NUSEA does not control or manage our member programs. Our role is to provide a framework in which ideas can be shared and best practices identified. We lead and support member programs through our collective expertise and leverage our role as a national organization to organize tournaments and camps across the country, raise funds for member programs, and help start new programs in cities that do not have them.
1995 – Two years after writing a graduate student term paper entitled ‘Bringing Squash Down from the Ivory Tower, the Creation of an Urban Squash and Education Program’, former professional squash player Greg Zaff launches SquashBusters in Boston. The after-school program, which serves 28 students from two public middle schools, is the first of its kind to combine the sport of squash with academic tutoring, mentoring and community service activities. With a $75,000 budget and an ‘office’ in Greg’s apartment, SquashBusters runs practices and tutoring sessions at the Boston YMCA, the Harvard Club of Boston, and Harvard University.
1999 – George Polsky, a teacher and social worker and former Harvard squash player, launchesStreetSquash in Harlem. The program runs practices out of the Harvard Club of New York and Columbia University… Two SquashBusters students win scholarships to private high schools, the first of many urban squash players to do so.
2000 – A group of Philadelphia squash enthusiasts – Matt Stern, Lisa Stokes, Andy Nehrbas, Pam Ende, Ben Desombre and Fred Guyott – launch SquashSmarts in partnership with Drexel University in West Philadelphia.
2002 – Sanford Schwartz, a squash player and squash parent, starts CitySquash on the Bronx campus of Fordham University, giving the Big Apple a second urban squash program.
2003 – SquashBusters opens the $6 million Badger-Rosen Youth Center, with eight squash courts and three classrooms, on the campus of Northeastern University… Groton School, a boarding school in Groton, MA, hosts the inaugural Urban Individual Nationals. The event draws more than 100 players from the country’s four urban squash programs.
2004 – The inaugural Urban Team Nationals is held in Boston at SquashBusters, drawing students from Boston, Harlem, the Bronx and Philadelphia.
2005 – The leaders of the country’s four urban squash programs — Steve Gregg, George Polsky, Tim Wyant, and Greg Zaff — co-found the National Urban Squash and Education Association in partnership with U.S. SQUASH… Conor O’Malley, a teaching pro in Chicago, foundsMETROsquash. Based at the University of Chicago, the program is the first outside of the East Coast.
2006 – SquashSmarts’s Tempest Bowden becomes the first urban squash player to qualify for the U.S. Nationals, an event open to the country’s top 32 players.
2007 – Annick Winokur, Pug Winokur and a group of Yale University-affiliated squash supporters launch Squash Haven at Yale in New Haven, CT… Led by Greg Scherman and Chris Walker, a group of San Diego squash enthusiasts start Surf City Squash, now Access Youth Academy, giving the West Coast its first urban squash program … SquashSmarts’s $12 millionLenfest Center, with eight squash courts and three classrooms, opens in North Philadelphia.
2008 – With Hillary Clinton in attendance, the $9 million S.L. Green StreetSquash Youth Center, with eight courts and four classrooms, opens in Harlem. MileHigh Squash, founded by Greg Courter, launches at the Denver Athletic Club… Assisted by a NUSEA challenge grant, a group of squash players in Baltimore, including Charlie Wise, Nancy Cushman, Peter Heffernan, and Abby Markoe, launch SquashWise at the Meadow Mill Athletic Club.
2009 – Days after being admitted to Cornell University, CitySquash’s Jesse Pacheco finishes 5th in the Under 19 division of the U.S. Open, one of the world’s most competitive junior squash tournaments.
2010 – NUSEA launches Racquet Up, its 10th member program, at the Northwest Activities Center in Detroit… The $1 million renovation of the Fordham University-CitySquash Squash Center is completed.
2011 – NUSEA launches Beyond Walls Twin Cities in Minneapolis – St. Paul… SquashBuster Yuleissy Ramirez begins her freshman year at Harvard University, becoming the first urban squash player to attend the country’s oldest college.
2012 – First Lady Michelle Obama promotes Let’s Move!, her nutrition and health initiative, at SquashSmarts’s Lenfest Center… Access Youth Academy’s Reyna Pacheco is admitted to Columbia University on a Gates Millennium Scholarship… The Santa Barbara School of Squashbecomes NUSEA’s 12th member program and the West Coast’s 2nd… StreetSquash and SquashBusters launch satellite programs, in Newark, NJ and Lawrence, MA respectively… TheUrban Squads program is launched to provide more intensive training opportunities for urban squash’s hardest working and most accomplished players… The combined enrollment of year-round students at NUSEA’s 12 member programs tops 1,000 students.
2013 – Oakland’s SquashDrive, founded by executive director Lauren Patrizio; Urban Squash Cleveland, led by Max Laverty; and StreetSquash Newark, led by Leah Brown, become NUSEA’s 13th, 14th, and 15th members, respectively… The Midwestern Urban Squash Championships, the first major urban squash tournament held outside the northeastern United States, takes place at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio… NUSEA’s International Fund, aimed at developing and engaging urban squash programs abroad, is launched.
2014 – NUSEA helps launch four new programs: Cincinnati Squash Academy, Capitol Squashin Hartford, CT, Steel City Squash in Pittsburgh, PA, and Squash Urbano Colombia in Cartagena… NUSEA welcomes three programs to be International Affiliates: Urban Squash Toronto, Egoli Squash in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Khelshala in Chandigarh, India.
2015 – With 20 programs across the country and around the world now operating under its umbrella, NUSEA celebrates Urban Squash’s 20th Anniversary Weekend in New York City. Over 1,250 people attend the three days of events and raise $2 million for urban squash. The weekend’s highlight is the Gala Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, honoring two decades of urban squash milestones and including a welcome video greeting by First Lady Michelle Obama.